This story from the BBC’s web site must be the strangest to come out of Iran in recent months.
It is about how Top Gear is very popular in the country and relates the story of a visit to Kurdistan, by the actor, who dubs our Jeremy into Farsi. Here’s an extract.
The BBC cannot operate freely in Iran, so Top Gear’s popularity is hard to measure. But last year, when PTV dropped an episode to air an exclusive interview with then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the audience protested bitterly.
I think in some ways that the man or woman on the Teheran omnibus or stuck in the Isfahan traffic jam think about the same things as their equivalemts in New York, Glasgow and Sydney.
Perhaps, Hillary Clinton could be a star in a reasonably priced car to raise her popularity in Iran.
The Sunday Times yesterday told the true story of Argo yesterday and like so many other American films, the role of Brits, Canadians and New Zealanders have been cut out. It would appear from the paper that the British Ambassador in Iran at the time; John Graham, is not amused. It would appear that one of the heroes was the orange Austin Maxi, used to ferry the American diplomats about.
It may not be very sexy, but it’s true.
So I can cut Argo off my list of films to see, as I don’t watch films where the truth is bent for American self-gratification.
I like stories like this, where a humorous piece from a satirical web site like The Onion, gets taken as the truth, by the media in some country where freedom and press don’t go anywhere together. This time it’s China that gets fooled, but Iran has been duped in the past.
The trouble is that these countries wouldn’t make fun of a serious leader so wouldn’t know humour if it hit them in the face.
I wonder if they have April Fools’ Day in China and Iran?
Science is an area of life, where generally political and other prejudices are left behind. Get the facts right and the answers are generally good, but try to say follow extreme left or right wing views and they just don’t fit scientific facts.
So this article on the BBC’s web site about Sesame, a large synchrotron being built in Jordan, is a real beam of hope. Even the Israelis and the Iranians are working together on the project.
I woke early today and after sorting my e-mails, I went back to bed to listen to Test Match Special from India. It wasn’t just England’s batsman, that were in fine form, but Henry Blofeld was as well, as have gave an amazing talk on his memories of India during the lunch break.
He told the tale, about how he nearly played for England in 1963 in India, when the team was decimated by the dreaded Delhi Belly. This link points to the paragraph containing the tale in Wikipedia, but it is much less colourful than Blowers account.
He also told how in 1976, he was one of five, who took a vintage Rolls-Royce all the way to India by road, travelling through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As it was such an immaculate vehicle, it was treated by everyone with the respect it deserved. Try doing that journey now. But it was done by many in those days. My cousin, John, did it around the same time in a Thames Trader gown van. There was even a regular bus to India called something like the Overland Trail.
Henry Blofeld until recently used to wear a pith helmet whilst reporting cricket tours like India.
He must be one of the last great British eccentrics. Hopefully, his talk will appear on the BBC iPlayer after play finishes for today. It’s well worth a listen. It’s here.
Incidentally, C who was a barrister, appeared several times in front of his elder brother, the judge, Sir John Blofeld.
With all the troubles in Syria, I got this spam yesterday.
I will like to formally introduce myself, I am Mrs. Asma al-Assad, First Lady of Syria which is the wife of Syria President Bashar al Assad.
I have a Profitable business transaction for you which involves transfer of funds,Please if interested do contact me via email for more details on this transaction but if this does not suit your business ethics, kindly delete this e-mail as I will gladly appreciate.
I await your swift response, to my email.
It may have come from Iran.
I will of course not be responding.
This terrible story of the death of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger from Iran, shows the regime in its true colours.
Seeing the performance of the Labour Party today, I wouldn’t think that he would be worried much. Especially, as opinion polls seem to show that the public don’t trust Labour with the economy.
Much of what happens to the economy will happen anyway, as large job creation will be by big companies, who will do it based on their needs. There will also be a lot by the average people, who generally read the economy better than the politicians do, and act when they see gaps.
But what happens across the pond in November, will have a large effect on what happens in this country.
It’s probably true to say, that David Cameron and Barack Obama are very similar, although from different backgrounds. If Obama should remain US President, then business will be very much as before.
But Mitt Romney, a man who is the most religious US Presidential candidate in some time, would I think create problems for any British Prime Minister, if he got elected.
If for instance, the United States got involved in an Israeli-led attack on Iran, would we be capable of staying out of it. The majority of the British public would want no part of it, of that there is no doubt. And I suspect Cameron doesn’t either! But who knows what will happen, if Israel attacked Iran.
This is just one area, where Romney is downright dangerous.
And a world stirred up by Romney, would give a tremendous boost for the opposition in the UK. Especially one, who could play the Hate Romney card with impunity.
Let’s hope the American voters are sensible enough to send Romney packing.
Iran has now started prohibiting shop-keepers from selling ties in Iran according to this report in the Guardian.
How long before they make it a capital offence and give life to the old phrase?